Tigers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 14, 2012

Tigers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 14, 2012

Tigers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 14, 2012
CHICAGO -- Justin Verlander didn't get his chance to pitch the Tigers back into a tie atop the American League Central thanks to Thursday's rainout in Chicago. Doug Fister will get the Tigers' last shot at the White Sox in a makeup game on Monday afternoon at 2:10 p.m. ET opposite Gavin Floyd, now 7-3 lifetime against the Tigers after Detroit beat him on Wednesday.

Whether the division lead is on the line in that one depends on how the Tigers and White Sox fare over the weekend against the rest of the division. Detroit left the Windy City for Cleveland, where it will try to avoid last week's troubles against the Indians and gain some revenge in a 7:05 p.m. ET contest.

Verlander, who missed a chance at victory because of a four-run Indians seventh in his most recent game at Progressive Field, in July, will get the shot. A win there and a White Sox loss in Minnesota would create a first-place tie.

Thursday's rainout cost the Tigers the last remaining off-day on their schedule. Barring any more rainouts, they'll play 20 games over the next 20 days to wrap up the regular season.

Thursday's key game to watch

White Sox (Sale, 13-8) at Twins (Vasquez, 0-1), 7:10 p.m. ET Preview >

If the postseason started today ...

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Wild Card: Second Wild Card at First Wild Card
Division Series: Second-best AL record vs. Third-best AL record | Best AL record at Wild Card winner

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Wild Card: Second Wild Card at First Wild Card
Division Series: Second-best NL record vs. Third-best NL record | Best NL record at Wild Card winner

Postseason Bracket »

Postseason 101

Magic numbers
To calculate a team's magic number, take the number of games it has remaining and add one. Then subtract the difference in the number of losses between that team and its closest pursuer.

Tiebreaker scenarios
A tiebreaker game will be played to determine a division winner, even if the tied clubs are assured of participating in the postseason. If a division championship tiebreaker is necessary, the head-to-head record between the clubs will determine home-field advantage. If the head-to-head record is tied, then the division record will be the next tiebreaker.

Tiebreaker rules »

2012 postseason schedule
Wild Card playoff games: Oct. 5
Division Series: Oct. 6-12
AL Championship Series: Oct. 13-21
NL Championship Series: Oct. 14-22
World Series: Oct. 24-Nov. 1

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.